A federal judge has agreed to hear arguments is a sex discrimination case brought by women employees of Walmart in California. The case, Dukes vs Walmart, is a class-action suit that alleges that female employees in California did not receive the same pay or promotion rates as their male counterparts in Walmart stores throughout the state.
In June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a national class-action lawsuit of the same name which included over 1.5 million women. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that the suit was too varied in its allegations, showing no concrete pattern of gender bias, effectively making Walmart “too big to sue.” Since then, separate complaints have been filed in every state except Montana and Vermont.
“We have maintained all along that the Supreme Court’s decision did not preclude us from seeking justice for the women of Walmart through class actions consistent with its new guidelines and standards, nor did the Court rule on the merits of the case,” said Brad Seligman, the lead counsel representing the women. “This decision vindicates our argument.”
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer denied Walmart’s request to dismiss the case on the grounds that the current selection of women is still too large. Breyer has set a date for February 15th, 2013, to determine if the group of almost 100,000 women can sue as a group.
Media Resources: Bloomberg 9/22/12; Feminist Newswire 6/7/12; 10/28/2011